Sleater-Kinney: ‘A New Wave’ Music Video Review

While animated music videos featuring popular cartoon characters have been done before (The Simpsons and Beavis and Butthead have received this treatment), that shouldn’t lessen the applause that Sleater-Kinney receives for their animated music video. A month after the release of their critically heralded comeback album No Cities to Love, the Riot Grrrl trio has released an animated music video for their song, “A New Wave,” and it just happens to feature characters from one of our favorite television shows: Bob’s Burgers!

The video starts off with Tina Belcher (ostensibly a Riot Grrrl in training) as she put’s a CD into her stereo system. From then, she immediately visualizes Sleater-Kinney’s Corin Tucker, Carrie Brownstein and Janet Weiss (drawn in the show’s indelible style) appear in her bedroom. Tina is shortly joined by her siblings Gene and Louise, and the three proceed to rock out to the invigorating music. Parents, Bob and Linda, are left absent from the video, sans a brief shot where we see them acknowledging loud music and heavy jumping coming from above their restaurant.

While it’s hardly an original concept, nor is it particularly well-animated (fans of the irreverent Fox series will notice the video uses plenty of stock footage), but for this video to be done on such short-notice elaborates that both of these brands understand their audience. Bob’s Burgers is currently the most surreal animated half-hour on television, attracting a fan-base of both those that grew up with The Simpsons’ golden years, as well as attracting newcomers who are just discovering what fringe acts they like. While Sleater-Kinney is generally considered a band for the Generation X crowd, they have perhaps developed even more of a following for the post-Y2K era.

Thanks to the internet, the numerous female—fronted acts that refer to Sleater-Kinney as an influence, and Carrie Brownstein’s niche variety show Portlandia, the band is quite possibly more popular than ever right now. Still, their image seems to be permanently supplanted in the ’90s, which has become a decade particular worshipped those born between the years 1985-1999 (a good amount of Bob’s Burgers demographic). You may even notice the video acknowledges this, as it’s clearly not an iPod or a computer that Tina is using to listen to this song.

“A New Wave” is a pleasant gift to fans of both Sleater-Kinney and Bob’s Burgers. Sure, at the end of the day, it’s closer to a commercial than a piece of art, yet it’s also completely referential to the secret world that listeners/viewers go into because of their passion towards the Belcher family, alternative rock, or what ever your go-to escape might be. It also makes one wonder what would have been possible, had the band had its current notoriety back in the hey-day. What ’90s cartoons would you have liked to see rock out with these gals? A Dharia video for “I Wanna Be Your Joey Ramone” for me please!